Arsene Wenger has been urged to add more German power to his Arsenal team by raiding the BundesLiga this January, not for Gundogan and Hummels, but for one or both 25-year olds, Sven and Lars Bender.
This was the opinion of former Liverpool and City midfielder Dietmar Hamman, who having played long at the top level as a bridge between defence and attack should know much about requisite top personnel for top clubs in such roles. Hamman believes anyone of the Bender twins would be good enough to plug the defensive gaps that have troubled the Gunners for much of the past five seasons, given their impressive records in the German topflight over the years.
“Arsenal are a fantastic team, with some of the most exciting attacking players in the Premier League” Hamman said, per the Mirror.”
“But, for me, their strength is also their weakness. Sanchez, Welbeck, Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain are as good as you will get, going forward. At the other end, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs and Debuchy are all reliable defenders”
“But what Wenger hasn’t got – and hasn’t had for years – is a defensive midfielder of the caliber of Nemanja Matic and John Mikel Obi at Chelsea or Fernando and Fernandinho at City”
“it is the most important area of the modern game. having a player with the discipline not to get caught out of position, the intelligence to recognize danger and the ability to snuff it out before it becomes a problem for his defenders.”
“Patrick Vieira was the master. He was the best in the business for years and one of the main reasons why Arsenal were so successful”
“So, I can’t understand why Arsene Wenger hasn’t addressed the problem. It’s been holding his team back for too long now and it’s the reason why the title is between City and Chelsea, with Arsenal fighting for fourth place yet again.”
Hamman said quite a lot, but made an interest observation on Gundogan as already being “a typical Arsenal player” who “won’t want to do the dirty work”.
Hitting home is point, the former German International recommended:
“For me, Arsenal would be much better served, going for one of the Bender brothers, especially Lars.”
“Either one of those boys would give Wenger something he hasn’t got in midfield. Someone who can read the game, is naturally defensive minded and who will thrive operating in front of the back four, making sure Arsenal don’t’ get exposed.”
In terms of quality, certainly Hamman was not wrong with his prescription and Lars Bender has reportedly been tracked by Arsenal before, especially last summer but Bayer Leverkusen were not willing to sell on a low price the Gunners offered. He has not been a regular in the German National team but that has been due to the presence of the impeccable Philip Lahm who with his retirement has now seen the 25-year old come more into Joachim Loew’s plans, playing in the Euro qualifiers in November.
The fee may be up to £20m for Lars and it is not something that looks feasible within the current window, if Arsenal’s dragged #2-5m bargains for the likes of Bielik and Brozovic are anything to go by.
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